Washington State University
American Association of University Professors
Meetings: 24 March 2009, 7 April 2009, 8 October 2009, 3 December 2009, 3 February 2010, 11 March 2010, 30 September 2010, 17 November 2010, 8 December 2010
8 December 2010
WSU-AAUP - December 8, 2010
Bundy Reading Room (video-conferenced to WSU-), WSU-Tricities ( ), and WSU-Spokane ( )
The minutes of the September 30 meeting were approved. There was discussion on various issues and the following resolutions were passed:
a. The WSU-AAUP will make it a priority to investigate, over the course of next semester, collective bargaining/unionization. A subcommittee was appointed for this task.
b. The WSU-AAUP will draft an expanded definition of the term "curriculum" to be recommended by the AAUP chapter to the Faculty Senate to replace the current definition in the Faculty Manual. A subcommittee was appointed for this task.
Specific highlights of discussion on various issues follows.
Shared Governance - Budget Cut and Reorganization Processes
More lag time between the administration’s announcement of a budget plan and the decision on the final plan is necessary to allow more consideration and response time by the university community. This lag time needs to occur during a regular semester, not at the end of a semester/over break.
What processes and conditions will be used to make decisions regarding contingent positions and potential moving of contingent positions and rehiring of contingent faculty?
During any reorganization of programs, faculty need guarantees for negotiation on movement of their positions, job responsibilities, and retaining resources assigned to them in previous unit.
Planning meetings regarding budgets should be public meetings to the extent of the law, and confidentiality requirements of members of any planning committees should not be made (except in the case of personnel data). ‘Closed meetings’ and requirements for confidentiality stand in the way of shared governance. Information dispersion to faculty and representation from a wide range of faculty voices should be a standard practice in universities with shared governance.
Shared Governance – General Representation
On all committees and governing bodies of the university whose decisions potentially affect contingent faculty members, contingent faculty should be full members of those bodies in a percentage reflective of their percentage of the university faculty. AAUP national standards are that all faculty should be part of shared governance.
Shared Governance - Curriculum
The national standard for universities is that the university curriculum is the responsibility of the faculty. There was a strong feeling that, at WSU, the administration and/or Faculty Senate takes the view that faculty should only address a limited aspect of "curriculum" that includes, e.g., defining attributes of individual courses, and not broader aspects such as policies on establishment, reorganization, and discontinuance of programs, departments, colleges, and larger programs of study. This narrow definition of "curriculum" effectively curtails the Senate's ability and/or effectiveness to tackle major issues. There was discussion about what are the faculty responsibilities in the name of curriculum and a motion to draft an expanded definition of curriculum in line with national standards.
Shared Governance – Administration/Faculty Relations
There was discussion about the notion of "collegiality" between administration and faculty and how the issue can be misinterpreted to hamper free speech. "Bullying" of faculty was also discussed and seen as a behavior which should be prohibited.
There was much discussion about collective bargaining/unionization. We agreed to investigate collective bargaining/unionization over the next semester. We will prepare a white paper on the pros and cons of collective bargaining/unionization and invite representatives from EWU, UW and perhaps other universities to discuss how they worked/are working to accomplish this goal and limitations and benefits of unionization. There was discussion about how unionization could offer greater protection to tenured and non-tenured professors and whether a collective bargaining effort could include staff and graduate students as well as faculty.
David Demers reported on a recent deposition in which he learned that the university has a working, though not stated, policy to fire tenured faculty after 3 or more unsatisfactory annual reviews. AAUP national standards state that post-tenure reviews of faculty should be directed toward development of faculty and not used to pressure faculty to retire or to fire faculty without ‘cause’ as specified in the Faculty Manual.
17 November 2010
Guest Speaker: Max Kirk, chair of the Faculty Senate
The topics to be addressed will include
30 September 2010
Place: Bundy Reading Room, Avery Hall
In attendance: Alex Hammond, Judy Meuth, Liz Siler, Lynn Gordon, Ray Jussaume, Shelley McGuire, Marilyn Von Seggern, Ginny Lohr, Michelle Forsythe, Rich Alldredge.
Item I: The meeting opened and Ray Jussaume, the Ombuds, was introduced by Liz Siler. (See the video of this presentation here). He presented information on the purpose of his office and his role as well as the general practices of the Ombuds. Jussaume explained the following facts in his presentation and in response to questions and answers.
He’s been the University Ombuds since January 1, 2010. He is: ••• time in this office and ••• time in Natural Resource Sciences ••• time with IP in his own college
Judy Krueger is also an Ombuds and she mostly handles cases involving AP, staff, and students. Ray Jussaume mostly handles cases related to faculty and students. The office is there for anybody who is part of the university community as long as the issue is involved with the university. Even off-campus volunteers involved in a university project can use the Ombuds.People can write in or call in for appointments.
Jussaume explained that they get a lot of walk-in traffic. Examples: students accused of cheating, or of plagiarism, or with questions such as how to drop a class They also deal with employment issues and administrative issues. (Interesting side note: The Dean of Students gets a weekly report from Pullman and Campus police but can’t be involved with off campus issues.)
The 4 principles of the this office and the International Ombuds Association:
The office does not have investigative powers. (The federal government has ombuds that investigate, but the WSU office is not that kind of ombuds.) They can do a little bit about hypothetically investigating a problem. The Ombuds does not decide the facts and does try to see two perspectives. And then what? The Ombuds can mediate, talk with different people, try to raise awareness within a unit, sit in on meetings between faculty and supervisors, attempt to “calm people down”. The Ombuds looks for patterns of problems and mentions these to the people with power to address the problems.
At what point is it “worth a person’s time” to see the ombudsman? It’s always worth the ombuds’s time. If you’re not sure ---it’s worth your time. The ombuds is there for all the branch campuses and can do a lot of referral to other university organizations.
Please note: This was a taped presentation and a copy of it will be available on the WSU-AAUP website.
Item 2: Following the Ombuds’ presentation, there was a general discussion of local priorities and concerns that AAUP should address this year. A number of priorities had been suggested earlier and are listed below after the suggestions made during the meeting. At the meeting, some felt we should:
Earlier suggestions for priorities had been:
The meeting ended at about 1:20 p.m.
11 April 2010 Agenda for General Meeting
on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at noon
in the Bundy Reading Room in Avery Hall
3 February 2010
The meeting was held at 5:30 p.m on February 3, 2010.
Present: Charlotte Omoto, Gary Collins, Judy Meuth, Liz Siler, Pam Thoma, Alex Hammond, and Shelley McGuire.
Following a welcome, the minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
Meeting attendees then heard a short presentation by Jackson Shultz and Kristopher Shultz on the Education Access Coalition. This group organized the student walkout held on February 3 and is planning a statewide "Day without a Student" to be held on April 7. They have done research about how other states have dealt with problems in funding higher education. Oregon recently upped its sales tax. This is one of the strategies that Education Access Coalition is pushing for. It was agreed that AAUP and Education Access Coalition will keep up to date on each others' activities.
Pam Thoma presented an update on the newsletter. The stories are in to David Demers and he is agreeable to making as many copies as we need. The newsletter will be available on the 15th. There was extended discussion about how many we need and how to distribute. Given that there is an advertisement included about the upcoming Rhoades' presentation, we need to get them distributed early. Pam will investigate various possibilities through central mailing. If that isn't feasible, we will do manual distribution, with each member distributing to five different departments and perhaps mailing some via interdepartmental mail. We will put an announcement in WSU Announcements about the Rhoades presentation and in that we will mention the newsletter --- and link to the electronic version.
There was discussion of the discontinuance policy. Gary pointed out it is going through with minor revisions (e.g. the mandated hearing) and will be an action item. Shelley voiced concern that the many points we had come up with were not taken into consideration. Pam voiced concern that the way it reads now it still sounds like the administration gets to initiate the process of program discontinuation. Charlotte suggested wording change to the effect that the elected Senate representatives of a program in question will have to be consulted by the university prior to the university proposing a cut that would discontinue the program.
The group decided to send the pres, provost and faculty senators a letter stating AAUP's objection to the faculty being asked to choose between only 2 budget cut options, both of which had significant problems. This letter is in accord with our recent press release.
There was discussion about the activities and schedule for Gary Rhoades and a bit about who would do what. Judy will send out a list of tasks asking for volunteers to sign up for tasks. We agreed to a small social activity/meet and greet at Rich and Judy's house on Sunday, February 21. Liz agreed to do publicity for the event.
Liz gave a micro-report on potential lawyers for a resource list of attorneys who do labor law/ and civil rights law locally, regionally, and/or within the state. We now have a list and will note on our website that we have this resource.
The meeting was held in Bundy Reading Room on December 3 at 5:30 p.m.
The following people were present: C. Omoto, J. Meuth, C. Claussen, A. Hammond, P. Thom, D. Demmers, G. Collins, P. Bettis, E. Siler, M. Von Seggern, C. Lupke, S. McGuire
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as written.
The treasurer (S. McGuire) states we have $122 of the $202 we collected. The money has been used for printing. At the next meeting she will present a simple tiered plan for dues.
Discussion with Cathy Claussen on Faculty Manual Revisions
The bulk of the meeting was centered around a discussion with Dr. Cathy Claussen, Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC).
Dr. Claussen provided the following information: The committee’s charge is to be the force behind faculty manual revision and to recommend policy to the Senate. The committee accepts written/email submissions from faculty with suggestions for changes. Today, the Senate looked at a piece of proposed change to the policy on discontinuance of programs. The FAC had looked at what UW does with this issue and had consulted with UW about problems. UW faculty report their policy is --- very cumbersome, convoluted --- so what FAC put forth as a draft was a simplification.
Dr. Claussen discussed the feedback loop. A proposed policy change starts as a discussion item in the Senate. Then it goes back to the committee and it may reappear as another discussion item on the Senate floor. Then it become an action item. When it’s approved by the Senate, the next step is approval by the Provost and then the Board of Regents.
Dr. Claussen was pleased with the feedback she got in the Senate discussion today. She pointed out that the FAC still has to do a policy about “good faith reallocation” of faculty. Although the committee generally meets every two weeks, they are now meeting more frequently until the end of the semester. A goal is to get better policies in place as the university faces the next round of cuts in the spring. She also noted that this policy doesn’t apply to reorganization of units. That will be dealt with separately.
This was more or less the end of her presentation. What followed was discussion and suggestions. Some of the highpoints of that discussion follow:
1. There was discussion whether it would be best to present a giant policy change, one that covers it all --- discontinuation of programs, reorganization of programs, faculty discontinuation, etc. --- or break these up into small policy changes (minor policy changes) and work at them one at a time. The feeling from past and present Senators --- Alex Hammond, Liz Siler, and Gary Collins – is that changes are more likely to be accepted if broken down into small pieces and presented one at a time. Other AAUP members thought pressing for a more comprehensive policy at one time would be the way to go.
2. Some in the room felt that there should be an external review put into the process (as UW has), and there was also concern that we need more public hearings built into the process so that the public hearing at the end of the process is not a “done deal.”
3. Some voiced concerns about how discontinuation is handled at the college level --- in the last go round, each college did it differently, to varying results. It was suggested that the first step in the policy might be for deans to agree on HOW this will be carried out at the college level so there is standardization of procedure across colleges.
4. There was discussion about the idea of having the provost explain in writing the rationale for decisions, but it was pretty much agreed that a move to require such a step in the procedure would probably fail and might jeopardize the process of getting more likely changes accepted.
5. There were suggestions on people who should be added to the process --- a person from the Faculty Senate Budget Committee was suggested as a way to validate the data prior to the public hearing.
6. It was generally agreed we need to get some language in the current proposal about how decisions will be made not just around money. There are “long term interests of the university” ---- and Shelley read a piece of Idaho’s policy requiring full evaluation of the “total impact.” Dr. Claussen took a copy of Idaho’s policy.
Dr. Claussen finished with a comment about how A2P2 was not intended to be used in a budget cutting situation and that A2P2 should be updated in the new budget process.
We moved onto further business. Shelley has given FAC the wording for harassment policy, including the WAC code.
D. Demers talked about his pending lawsuit with the university. He pointed out that this could have been avoided --- as well as the potential $500,000 minimum it will cost the university --- if only we had a real grievance process in place that, as an independent appeals process would be binding. The Faculty Status Committee (FSC), while charged with grievance review, generally declines such cases due to being overworked. We talked about models of a new grievance committee --- including who might be on it. Suggestions included: at least one member of the FSC and a few randomly selected faculty to serve as a “jury of peers.” There was discussion about how hard it is for one department to judge another’s review of a faculty member. But the point was made: AFTER we finish these policies on discontinuation of program/reorganization, etc., we have to tackle a grievance process/policy.
Judy mentioned we can now have our website on the university server. She will give Lynn the IP address and Reza should be contacted to see if we can use the templates he set up.
Pam hopes to get the first newsletter out two weeks or so before Gary Rhoades is coming. Various suggestions for articles were made.
Liz hopes to survey local lawyers to get a pool of lawyers we could refer to together. Concern was expressed that we don’t want to be seen as “subversive” by looking for lawyers, but the point was made that chapters of AAUP do offer this service --- referral to local lawyers. It was generally agreed that the best way to proceed would be to narrow down the lawyers we will contact by asking for local/east side referrals from the lawyers who are on the UW’s AAUP referral list. Then we will contact them to see about their willingness and availability. For the next meeting Liz will report on what referrals she was able to get via this procedure.
The meeting adjourned at 7:30.
Minutes of the WSU-AAUP Meeting
October 8, 2009
5:30 p.m. Neill Hall 416
The following people were in attendance:
Rich Alldredge (Statistics), Emmet Fiske (Community and Rural Sociology), Lynn Gordon (English), Charlotte Omoto (Biological Sciences), Judy Meuth (Women’s Studies), Shelley McGuire (Nutrition), John Streamas (CES), Pam Bettis (Education), Dave Demers (Communication), Jeff Sellen (History), Gary Collins (Physics), Liz Siler (English), Virginia Lohr (Horticulture), Pam Thoma (Women’s Studies)
Rich Alldredge called the meeting to order. Each person introduced him/herself.
Rich Alldredge briefly reviewed the accomplishments thus far, including the undertaking of revisions to the faculty manual and the event with Duane Storti.
The meeting moved to Item #3, which was input from persons about issues that AAUP should address.
Liz Siler suggested that Jeff Sellen should talk on some issues with World Civ.
Jeff Sellen briefed everyone on the current situation with World Civ appointments in history.
The gist of the issue: When the World Civ program was moved into History last spring, History appears to have assumed curricular control of the course, which is no longer what it was set up to be. Heather Streets chairs the World Civ Committee. There is one person nominally from another department --- John Bodley from Anthro Many faculty were fired and a few were moved into History. Now those few remaining faculty, all contingent, understand that they will be terminated and that within just a few weeks a national-level search will begin to hire new contingent faculty, probably post-docs, to replace them. Jeff --- and the others --- would like to see this process stopped.
The concerns that were raised by group members:
1. How is it possible to have large-scale curricular change without standard curricular processes?
2. There are gross labor issues with contingent faculty.
3. How far is the search committee in the process?
4. Who should be approached, Fran McSweeney, Academic Affairs Committee, Provost Bayly?
Related issues: This seems to fit under the general problem of too much “by fiat” “top down” management from the provost and too much exclusion of shared governance and faculty input. Virginia (Ginny) Lohr spoke about the umbrella issue of having many related "troubles". She mentioned that recently administration has slipped in a new rule that says that all undergrad courses must have a 15 seat average for 3 years to stay on the books. This is another example of the same problem --- administration arbitrarily making up the rules as it goes along.
Action: Jeff Sellen will produce a chronology of events that will be the starting point for our interactions with administration on this. It was agreed we need to start NOW since time is of the essence in dealing with this particular matter. Jeff said he could do this tonight.
Liz Siler suggested WSU-AAUP needs a committee to find a group of lawyers whom we can call on in need. Ideally some of these would be local. This idea was a main point in Duane Storti’s talk. Everyone seemed to think this was a good idea.
Action: A small committee consisting of Jeff Sellen, Liz Siler, and David Demers was formed to look into this. Pam Thoma will send Liz the list of lawyers suggested by the WA state AAUP conference last year.
John Streamas reported on a meeting he recently attended, chaired by Alex Tan. This was supposed to be a foundational “grassroots” meeting of a Faculty Diversity Organization, but the meeting was called by upper administration and there were many people who did not attend (like many folk from CES) and no vote was taken. There was discussion of this topic. Alex Tan has approached the Faculty Status Committee with a list in which he hoped to show that potential hirees must show their “commitment to diversity.” This was rejected by the committee. Though this Faculty Diversity Organization has not officially formed, they’ve already had an advertisement in the Chronicle in which a group of faculty and students of color stand with a sign that says “my color is crimson.”
Action: John will continue to attend this group and report back.
Emmet Fiske of Community and Rural Sociology spoke. This department was terminated. He reviewed the rules for terminations and explained how he had followed them in filing an appeal. But a friend of his sent him a memo that Rich Heath of Risk Management sent out, in which he made the false statement that Fiske had made “statements” that threatened law suits. There was much discussion of this lie. Some felt that this was merely Heath’s way of telling his subordinates to pay attention to process, but others felt that if that had been his goal he could simply have said so. Some felt that Fiske has grounds to sue for libel.
No action on this, but it does point to a need to monitor and develop tighter policies
David Demers spoke about how he, in problem that he has with administration, has found that there is a need for an appeals board in the annual review process. Theoretically, the Faculty Status Committee is supposed to do this, but doesn’t. He believes we should push for a formal independent review process for annual reviews with no administrators. Maybe the FSC doesn’t take this on due to vagueness and ambiguity in the manual. There are definite needs for tighter policies.
No action on this, but more evidence that we need to work on policies related to this.
Because the meeting was long, the agenda was abbreviated.
Shelley McGuire gave a brief report on the status of policy revisions so far, including an effort to get the definition of harassment for faculty to be the same as the one for students.
Pam B and Pam T will work with David Demers to create a newsletter to debut this spring.
There was a vote for new administrators. Rich Alldredge stepped down as President and Victor Villanueva stepped down as member at large. After much discussion and voting:
Judy Meuth and Charlotte Omoto will be CO-Presidents and Gary Collins will be the new member at large.
The meeting was held in Bundy Reading Room from 4-6 p.m.
The following people were in attendance: Noel Sturgeon, Judy Meuth, Rich Alldredge, Lori Carris, Pamela Thoma, John Streamas, Teri Mayfield, Marian Sciachitano, Greg Hooks, Alex Hammond, Shelley McGuire, Pam Bettis, TV Reed, Carol Anelli, Gary Collins, Marilyn Von Segern, Rory Ong, Chris Lupke, Nishant Shahani, Charlotte Omoto, Lynn Gordon
1. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
2. There was a brief summary of activities to date. Rich Alldredge wrote a letter to the President, Provost, the Regents, and Deans announcing the formation of the chapter and briefly stating the agenda of the group. A copy of this letter was distributed to those present.
Noel Sturgeon noted that the position of VP is open. Terms are for 2 years. Elections were held later in the meeting. Lynn Gordon was elected Vice President and Pam Bettis was elected to one of the two member-at-large positions. We will need to fill the second member-at-large position at the next meeting. Rich Alldredge was confirmed as President by a show of hands.
Liz Siler announced the mailing listserv. The link is in the minutes. This is open to all members and supporters. We really need people to get on this listserv ASAP asap so that we can start sending materials out. This point was reiterated several times.
3. Membership issues were discussed. To be a member, one must join the national group at www.aaup.org. A first time enrollee can use the “entrant” category and save money. We are an advocacy chapter, joined with other chapters in the state (UW, PLU). We may move to being a collective bargaining unit but there are no plans to seek a collective bargaining unit at this time. Shelley McGuire, the treasurer, will convene a small ad hoc group to work out a local dues proposal.
4. There was general discussion of the AAUP response to the budget crisis. Discussion was focused around several documents available in the packet. Over the course of a lengthy discussion, the following points were made:
A. With reference to situations outside the area of financial exigency, there is a lack of congruence between the AAUP standards for program/personnel procedures and those procedures as described in the WSU faculty manual. This lack of congruence is a violation of professional standards.
B. Concern was expressed about how WSU handles contingent faculty in program close downs.when a program is discontinued. The Faculty Senate is not being consulted in program closures (such as in nutrition/Gen Ed).
C. AAUP has the power of censure, which, if activated during this accreditation process, might be a powerful tool.
D. Departments are actively and flagrantly not complying with AAUP standards. For example, some departments are actively replacing tenure lines with clinical lines.
E. Non-compliance with AAUP standards also puts us even further away from the goal of AAU status, which emphasizes cohesiveness in teaching/research units.
F. We need to respond to the current situation rather rapidly. There is a sense of urgency and at the very least we must ensure that if people are cut, they are fairly treated.
G. In addition to direct personnel cutting issues, we must also look at the lack of congruence between AAUP standards for procedures in case of program discontinuance and those of WSU.
There was discussion of interfacing with the Faculty Senate. It was suggested that we ask that Senate procedures be amended so that not only must the Faculty Senate have to approve the creation of a program, but also the discontinuance or merger of a program.
After considerable discussion we settled on the following strategy:
An ad hoc group of Liz Siler, Greg Hooks, Pam Thoma, and Shelley McGuire will write a press release that will be read on the floor of the Senate on Thursday, April 9 by Rich Alldredge. Rich will ask that the issues raised in the press release be made into an agenda item. Briefly, the press release will (in about 250 words) mention the formation of the chapter, set the context as being the financial crisis, and raise issues of the need for shared governance in program/personnel termination, safeguarding academic missions, and mitigating the impact of cuts on vulnerable populations. The PR will highlight the lack of congruence between WSU’s standards and those of AAUP.
5. Other business discussed included a suggestion by Pam Thoma that we get a speaker here from the state conference/speaker’s bureau. It was pointed out that Nick Lovrich, WSU’s legislative rep is a member of AAUP nation. There was some discussion of the idea of having both the UW and WSU legislative rep attend a meeting (possibly by Teleconference). Pam will follow up on this idea and report back.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 6 p.m.
This meeting was held from 5:00 to 6:50 p.m in the banquet room at Dupus Boomer’s restaurant.
In attendance were: Noel Sturgeon, Pamela Thoma, TV Reed, Chris Lupke, John Streamas, Linda Heidenreich, Greg Hooks, Elizabeth Siler, Rich Alldredge, Miriam Ballejos, Shelly Chambers Fox, Tim Kohler, Io Palmer, Maggie Reed, Reza Safazi, Marian Sciachitano, Nishant Shahani, Marilyn Von Seggern.
The purpose of the meeting: to establish the working structure of a chapter of AAUP at Washington State University.
NEXT MEETING: April 7, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in Bundy Reading Room.
There was a quorum and there were two votes; the bylaws were accepted as was the following slate of officers: Noel Sturgeon (President); Rich Alldredge (Vice President); Shelley (Treasurer); Liz Siler (Secretary). Reza and Io will build and manage a WEB site.
Procedural Information: Once this chapter is up and running and we get the bylaws off to national, we must announce our presence. This is done via a press release as well as a letter to the President, notifying him of our existence. This should be followed by a meeting with the president. It was suggested we start with a “soft agenda” of some general topics: freedom of speech, transparency of procedure, and contingent faculty issues.
There was a brainstorming session of issues we’d like to tackle. This is a list of some of the items brought up:
Enhancing inclusive representation
Protecting freedom of speech
Casting some visibility on town-university interaction
Sticking to policies
For questions or suggestions about this website or to report problems, please contact Lynn Gordon at email@example.com